Monday, 1 June 2009


‘Bing’ just opened itself a window as I launched Internet Explorer. Rather than click the ‘x’ in disgust I decided to put it to the ultimate test, what would under other circumstances be called ‘Googling oneself’! ‘Binging’ doesn’t sound too healthy when used in that context so I’ll refrain from attempting to coin a phrase. I typed in ‘Matt Hellyer’ and hit the magnifying glass. The ‘real me’ took the top four places and six out of the top ten, the first page of results.

What were those searchable online references to my good self? First was my Myspace profile page, even thought this lays mostly dormant these days. Next was a YouTube video on my talk74 channel, one that wouldn’t make my top ten most viewed. Novi Most, the charity I work with, took third place with their Bosnian website and my talk74 channel page took fourth. My previous employer’s dot com came in seventh and rounding off the page was a published comment from the Times Online.

Search is one of the most powerful drivers of internet traffic. Twitter, and similar services, are boosting the power of recommendation to generate interest but anyone wanting to be found online should still be bothered about search. So am I happy with Bing’s performance? In truth it doesn’t tell me too much. My experiment was flawed in that I searched for my name; only people who already know me can do that. To be truly discoverable online I need to turn up in results to searches for things people are actually looking for!

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